China’s new tech market just minted 3 billionaires in a single day, and it might be a turning point after a rocky year for the country’s wealthiest people

The gains from the first day of trading on the the Star market made three Chinese tech executives billionaires. Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Asia’s billionaire count is on the decline, a report by Wealth-X shows, but the success of a new tech-focused market in China may signal a resurgence. Three executives of Chinese tech companies are now billionaires after firms traded for one day on the STAR Market, according to Bloomberg.

Launched on July 22, the STAR market was designed to compete with Nasdaq to trade China’s largest tech companies, Business Insider previously reported. It features looser regulations than other Chinese markets, but its growth may not be sustainable, according to analysis by Business Insider‘s Jack Derwin. There are 25 stocks listed on the Star Exchange. By the end of the first day of trading, they were up an average of 140%, according to CNN Business. The highest performer, semi-conductor part maker Anji Microelectronics Technology, closed up 400%.

Three new Chinese billionaires were minted in one day:

  1. The founder of circuit maker Suzhou HYC Technology Chen Wenyuan was the biggest beneficiary of the market’s success, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg estimates Wenyuan’s net worth to be $US2.4 billion.
  2. Cao Ji, the chairman of lithium battery producer Zhejiang Hangke Technology, now has a net worth of $US2.2 billion, according to Bloomberg.
  3. The founder and chairman of Arcsoft Corp, Hui Deng, is worth $US1.3 billion, according to Bloomberg.

They now join the ranks of China’s 285 billionaires, according to Wealth-X.

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2018 was a rocky year for the world’s wealthiest people

The additions to the billionaire population in China follow a rocky 2018 for the world’s wealthiest.

The number of billionaires in the world dropped 5.4% in 2018, according to Wealth-X’s 2019 Billionaire Census. Billionaires in the Asia-Pacific region suffered the most, losing a collective 13.4% of their ranks in 12 months. China ended the year with 15.7% fewer billionaires than when it began. And those who held on to their billionaire status saw their net worth’s drop 7.8%,Wealth-X found. The only country that fared worse than China was India.

Market volatility, slowing economic growth and tariff disputes are to blame for the falling billionaire population, according to Wealth-X. And 2018 was also the worst year for Chinese stocks in a decade, ending the year 24% lower than it was at the close of 2017, according to CNBC. The budding trade war between the United States and China also decreased global demand for Asian goods, Wealth-X reported.

Until 2018, Asia’s billionaire class had been growing, Wealth-X reported. But in 2018, the number of billionaires in each of what Wealth-X calls “the major Asia-Pacific billionaire countries” – China, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore – declined.